388 – Is Your Supplement Real or Fake – How Can You Know?

The simple answer is “Do Your Research”. Here’s how.

How much do you really know about the supplements you take and the companies that make them? In this interview with Gene Bruno, we will discuss the problems that can affect consumers and some solutions

All Supplements Are Regulated!!!

First and foremost, we must dispel the myth that supplements are not regulated. Since 1994, supplements have been regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). DSHEA is THE reason we have an explosion in nutritional research and the wonderful products that are now available. Both FDA and FTC have regulatory authority over supplements. It is not that lack of regulation but rather the lack of effective oversight and enforcement. It is this lack of enforcement that has emboldened those whose only motive is to profit from the demand of consumers.

This interview is for you if:

  • You are concerned and care about the quality of products in today’s market. There are good reasons to be skeptical and cautious.
  • You want to know how to find and vet quality manufacturers. You also want to know how to avoid the pitfalls of the the supplement marketplace.
  • You want to know what the current science says about nutritional supplements.
  • You would like more clarity and transparency from supplement companies.
  • You are interested in what is new and/or trending.
  • You may want to bring a product to market. How does one do that?

If you are a regular listener to HealthQuestPodcast.com, then you know I think these issues are important, even critical. It is a core and foundational principle that high quality, highly effective, scientifically and clinically studied supplements exist and are available. This is the good news. This is what gets us excited. We can have confidence to use these products with a reasonable expectation of benefit.

However, the supplement marketplace is challenged by the existence of low quality products. This is to put it kindly. Here are some of the issues that have a powerful and negative effect for manufacturers and consumers.

Here are some of the ways consumers are deceived:

  • Products are mislabeled.
  • Listed ingredients are missing or not the stated potency.
  • Products are adulterated with unlisted ingredients.
  • Products contain low potency and/or low quality ingredients.
  • Product has illegal medical claims.
  • Product is a knockoff or counterfeit.
  • Company is not GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Certified.
  • Company is not transparent and you cannot contact them.

These are significant challenges for consumers. There are solutions if one takes the time to explore and understand the marketplace. If price is your most important concern, then the solution is to simply buy the cheapest product. However, when finding quality products you can trust, you must do at least a little digging. Like finding treasure, you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Here are some ways to dig deeper:

  • Is there a history of human use? Some products have been used for centuries.
  • Are there current scientific and clinical studies on the nutrient in general?
  • What do the studies reveal about benefits and dosage?
  • Is the specific nutrient clinically studied, trademarked and branded?
  • Are there studies on the branded raw material found at PubMed.com or Scholar.Google.com?
  • Can you contact the company for more information? Does the company embrace transparency?
  • Does the company have any awards, certifications or recognition from others within the industry? Good companies work very hard to earn these and they deserved to be recognized.

These are a few ways to dig deeper on your own. I realize many people do not want to do this and they need credible, reliable and accurate nutritional advice. That’s what we do here at HealthQuestPodcast.com. We ask the questions so you can be better informed and make better choices. Better choices lead to better outcomes. Independent health food stores are often a good resource for curated quality products. Hopefully you have a good store in your area. Even then, you have to know the right questions to ask. Do your research in the beginning. It gets easier and you will have confidence in your choices as time goes on. This is an important interview for everyone who consumes nutritional supplements and wants the best quality.

To learn more visit the NutraScience Labs blog page.

Gene Bruno

Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG) possesses 42 years of dietary supplement industry experience. With a master’s degree in nutrition and a second master’s degree in herbal medicine, he has a proven track record of formulating innovative, evidence-based dietary supplements. Mr. Bruno currently serves as both the Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at NutraScience Labs and Professor of Nutraceutical Science at Huntington University of Health Sciences.  

NutraScience Labs

NutraScience Labs is headquartered in New York and provides dietary supplement brands with best-in-class contract supplement manufacturing services and offers in-house packaging, label design, and fulfillment services. NutraScience Labs’ team possesses over 80 years of industry experience and has successfully contract manufactured high-quality dietary supplements for over 2,300 brands located in the United States and around the globe. More information can be found at NutraScienceLabs.com.  

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Naomi Albertson July 14, 2021 at 1:06 pm

This is a wonderful article! Thank you for posting!


2 Steve Lankford July 14, 2021 at 2:34 pm

Thank you for letting me know. I appreciate every listener.


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